November 6th, 2007


My ballot

Initiative measure 960: requiring 2/3 vote to approve tax increases or a vote.
No. Some things need super-majorities to get by. Normal functioning of the government does not.
Referendum measure 67: setting treble damages for unreasonably denying certain insurance claims.
Approved. I'm not sure this is the best thing actually, but we can repeal or modify it if it doesn't work. Right now, there's no penalty if a claim is denied wrongfully. The insurer just pays the claim. Meanwhile the patient is out all the time and expense to force the insurer to pay.
Senate Joint Resolution 8206: 1% rainy day fund
Rejected. I'm in favor of a rainy day fund. I'm not in favor of it being mandated by the state constitution. I'm also not in favor of the kinds of restrictions on it's use. And since it's a constitutional amendment, if it doesn't work as planned it can't be repealed by the legislature.
Senate Joint Resolution 8212: authorizing inmate labor for private companies
Rejected. I don't see a driving need for this.
House Joint Resolution 4204: approval of school levies by majority.
Approved. This eliminates super-majority voting requirements for school levies. Right now not only does a levy require a super-majority, but you have to have beat turnout from previous elections. As I noted above, regular functioning of the government shouldn't be by super-majority. Now, if we could get this to be applied to all levies.
House Joint Resolution 4215: allowing investment of higher education permanent funds
Approved. Not that it will necessarily make the universities a lot of money. I think adequate safeguards against gambling can be written by law or regulation. It's not necessary to tie the hands via the constitution as currently written.
King County Initiative 25: electing the director of elections
No. This doesn't make the director of elections elected. This merely puts another item on the ballot next year to make the director of elections an elected position. I'm generally in favor of manager positions like this being appointed. It allows such things as an executive search with multiple candidates.
King County Proposition No. 1: renewal of Medic One property tax levy
Approved. Medic One. 'Nuff said.
King County Prosecuting Attorney
Bill Sherman. Both have experience. Dan Satterberg though voted to approve Laurie Sotelo's illegitimate challenges to voters.
King County Assessor
Scott Noble. He's the incumbent, and I haven't heard of him. That's what you want in an incumbent assessor.
King County Council District No. 4
No vote. I don't vote when someone is running unopposed, unless I'm putting in a write-in for some reason.
Port of Seattle Commissioner Position No. 2
Gael Tarleton.
Port of Seattle Commissioner Position No. 5
Alec Fisken.
Sound Transit and RTID Proposition No. 1
No. I'm torn here. Ultimately though, I think there's too much emphasis on roads in the package. If that money was spent to repair roads rather than build new ones, perhaps. Also, I'm not a big fan of extending light rail into rural areas since I think that encourages sprawl. It ought to be spread through existing urban locations to encourage even greater density. Places like Ballard, West Seattle, or an I-5 route. Even Bellevue. But not I-90 generally.
Seattle City Council Position No. 1
Jean Godden. She's turned out to be a decent councilperson.
Seattle City Council Position No. 5
No vote. Tom Rasmussen is unopposed.
Seattle City Council Position No. 3
Venus Velázquez. Don't know much about either candidate. I like Peter Steinbrueck (the outgoing councilperson) and he's endorsed Velázquez.
Seattle City Council Position No. 7
Tim Burgess. Burgess is somewhat of an opportunist, disavowing some of his previous work with right-wing causes now that the wind is blowing liberal again. I've met him and he's pretty smart. And really, the opportunity to do a lot of right-wing damage (should he turn out to be a stalking horse) is pretty limited as a councilperson. Meanwhile he'll be the type that gets into the nitty-gritty of city business.
Seattle City Council Position No. 9
Sally Clark. Haven't really seen a lot out of Clark, but Fenton is a right-wing gadfly who is running on public morals and says little about day to day things.
Seattle Charter Amendment 17: adds a preamble to the city charter
I don't care.
Seattle Charter Amendment 18: the mayor's state of the city address
Yes. This is mostly a pissing match between Mayor Nickels and the City Council. He did his state of the city address to some other group and they got peeved that the official audience (them) didn't get it in person. I don't care that much, but it probably should be given to the council at least.
Seattle School District Position No. 1
Peter Maier.
Seattle School District Position No. 2
Darlene Flynn.
Seattle School District Position No. 3
Harium Martin-Morris.
Seattle School District Position No. 6
Steve Sundquist.

Voting utensils

I would like to point out that, with the optical reading ballots (the ones where you fill in a circle), it is much easier to fill out the ballot with a Sharpie than it is with a ball point or rollerball pen.

This had not occurred to me prior to today.

Need for male mentors

From the mentoring coordinator:
We are in great need of male mentors at Sealth. We have been short all along and then had several mentors drop on us. Please spread the word to your friends and co-workers. Given the last minute notice and the great need we have for male mentors, we are willing to be flexible with the schedule a bit. If you know of someone who would be a great mentor and could make at least part of the launch course, please send them my way. The launch course is this week (yikes!), Thursday, November 8th - Sunday, November 11th. We currently have 3 male mentors and need 3 more at the very least.

If any of the men on my friends list would consider mentoring this year, please let me know. I can't rave enough about how positive the experience has been for me.

Edited to add: If the women on my friends list would mention this to the men in their lives (significant others, brothers, sketchy pickups, etc.), I would also appreciate this.

Edited again to add: Could y'all ask around at your workplace too, even if you can't commit?